May 26, 2014
A Turkish court on Monday ordered arrest warrants for four former Israeli military commanders for their role in a deadly 2010 raid on a Gaza-bound humanitarian aid ship.
In addition to ordering their arrests, the court requested Interpol Red Notices for the men.
That attack on the Mavi Marmara, which Institute for Policy Studies fellow Phyllis Bennis described as a "pirate-style assault on [an] unarmed flotilla of ships carrying hundreds of humanitarian aid workers and 10,000 tons of supplies for the besieged Gaza Strip," killed 10 human rights activists and wounded many others.
Among the four whose arrests are sought is former Israeli Chief of Staff, Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi, who, in a state-appointed inquest stated that the Israeli commandos fired 308 live bullets on the ship and that the killing of the peaceful activists was unavoidable. As Reutersreported,
Turkish prosecutors have already sought multiple life sentences for the now-retired Israeli officers over their involvement in the killings. Among the charges listed in the 144-page indictment are "inciting murder through cruelty or torture" and "inciting injury with firearms".
Oguz Celikkol, Turkey's ambassador to Tel Aviv at the time, told Turkey's Hurriyet Daily News that he was surprised by the action taken by Israel. "We knew the crisis was coming but we did not foresee that it would result like that," he said. "Obviously, we were not expecting Israel to let the humanitarian aid reach Gaza, but we thought the intervention method would be different."
"A military intervention of that type was hard to expect," Celikkol said.
To see some video footage of the attack that one of the activists was able to get out, watch the Democracy Now! segment below:
We're optimists who believe in the power of informed and engaged citizens to ignite and enact change to make the world a better place.
We're hundreds of thousands strong, but every single supporter counts.
Your contribution supports this new media model—free, independent, and dedicated to uncovering the truth. Stand with us in the fight for social justice, human rights, and equality. As a people-powered nonprofit news outlet, we cover the issues the corporate media never will. Join with us today!
Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.
We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.